Interview: What's Next For Edge?

Mobigame is set to release its iOS best-seller Edge on PC later today, thanks to indie publisher Two Tribes. In this Gamasutra interview, Two Tribes' Collin van Ginkel and Mobigame's David Papazian discuss what's next for both companies.
Mobigame's Edge has been on a rollercoaster ride since its initial release on iOS at the end of 2008, from the widely-reported clash with Tim Langdell to the multiple awards won in its name. The dev team isn't ready to let the spark go just yet, as it's launching an enhanced version of the game on PC today, and a version for PSP later in the month. The iOS platform is also receiving an updated version called Edge Extended on August 22. The PC version is a collaboration with indie publisher Two Tribes, which has previously brought the likes of Toki Tori and Swords & Soldiers to Steam. Talking to Gamasutra, Two Tribes' Collin van Ginkel explained that Edge was the perfect fit for a PC release. "We were scouting for great games to bring to other platforms in 2009," he told us. "When we first started talking to Mobigame, during a very nice GDC park meeting in San Francisco, the idea was to release the game on WiiWare and DSiWare as well. Since we took our sweet time to redevelop Edge and those platforms are not in good shape anymore, we decided going PC-only was the way to go." He continued, "We consider PC and Mac to be a main platform. Any Two Tribes game that makes sense on PC/Mac will get a Steam release from us." On the topic of future platforms for the game -- and upcoming Mobigame titles -- Edge creator David Papazian told us that we can expect plenty more Edge releases on a variety of platforms. "Edge will be released on PSP in North America in late August," he said. "The next step would be to bring Edge to Xbox Live and PSN. We want to make this jump with Edge 2, which will add multiplayer and more surprise, but it's too soon to talk about it." "And yes, we will release games on PC and Mac in the future, but we cannot tell more yet... we prefer to keep it a surprise." And what of the PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS? "Definitively yes for the PS Vita," said Papazian. "The hardware is really great and we have cool ideas to use it." Two Tribes, however, is gunning for the other team. "We're more Nintendo oriented," admitted van Ginkel, "so we're keeping a close eye on the 3DS at the moment. For now our focus is on iOS and Steam though." As you'd expect, Papazian is edgy when the topic of Tim Langdell comes up. When asked whether he feels that the publicity from the bust-up eventually did the company and the game some good, he simply quips, "Seriously?" "The game won several awards, was featured in Edge magazine's Top 50 iPhone game, and Apple's Top 30 best games," he argued. "We were dealing a contract with Sony Ericsson to embed it in millions of handsets. Apple called us to offer us a great marketing opportunity etc. And all that before we heard of Langdell." Papazian did note, however, that after the run-in with Langdell, "all our partners get scared" -- although van Ginkel is quick to point out, "we didn't get scared." But did the situation with Langdell help the developer make any new friends in the indie scene? "We received the help of The Chaos Engine, a forum of 11,000 game developers, and a lot of other people, especially indies, joined us in the fight," Papazian explained. "I guess this David against Goliath fight was exciting for everyone, it's good to know that little guys can win sometimes if they stand up together. Even if we owe the final result to EA!" Understandably, he has the greatest respect for his indie developer comrades. "It's really great to see so many people making innovative games. There are really brilliant people in the indie community and I'd much prefer to try a game like Super Meat Boy or Machinarium than playing another FPS." "The best happens when indies work together I think -- it's exactly what we did here at least."

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